Short dobby peg hack

Hi everyone,

I need to use 56 dobby bars for a project and I only have enough short dobby pegs for 48 bars. What can I use as a short peg substitute? Thanks!


Posted on Sat, 11/28/2015 - 20:09

Often it is possible to get by with fewer bars and pegs because you can reverse the direction of the chain quite easily. What weave structure are you using?

I only have the older style of bars. I saw and used the shorter pegs once while I was teaching at AVL more than ten years ago. I remember that they are held together by a plastic strip, but don't know about other ways to connect those bars. My bars are connected by little metal rings which are tricky to open or close, so I use a plastic loop where I need to open the chain. I make the plastic loop from a cable tie with the tail cut short.

Bonnie Inouye, author of Exploring Multishaft Design

Posted on Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:47

I would like to weave the interleaved echo weave on Eva Stossel's  blog. It is an 8-shaft draft with an interleaved threading, a twill tie-up and an advancing point treadling. I'm not sure I can reverse the dobbys to save on bars.

I think what I can do is use long dobby pegs where the connecting strips join at hole 16 beinging it's only an 8-shaft draft. That would save me a bunch of short pegs. I'll have to count and see if I have enough then. I might also run over to the hardware store to see if they have anything as a substitute.

Jo Anne


Posted on Fri, 12/04/2015 - 04:57

Why not reverse the chain? Advancing points are ideal for pegging the tie-up. I included information about doing exactly this kind of sequence in my book, Exploring Multishaft Design, because I was thrilled when I started weaving advancing point sequences with bars and pegs in the 1990s. Interleaved drafts are great fun with more than 8 shafts and so are extended parallel threadings which are also used with similar tie-ups and treadlings.

Have you tried weaving forwards and backwards on a shorter chain?

Bonnie Inouye

Posted on Sun, 12/06/2015 - 12:30

I have tried weaving backwards but only to fix mistakes. I just looked at the draft again and I think I see what you mean. The draft advances for 5 picks and the reverses for four picks, then advances for 5 (the previous 4 plus 1), then reverses for 4. So I'll just need to add the "+1" instead of all the reversed picks that are just duplicates of the previous advance. I think I can do that! That sure would save me a lot of dobby bars.

Posted on Sun, 12/06/2015 - 23:24

An advancing point treadling typically means that you weave x picks with the bars going in one direction, pull the cord, then weave x-1 picks. Pull the cord, weave x picks, then x-1 picks. However, there are lots of other interesting options- this sequence assumes an advance of 1.

Do you have weaving software? It really helps for understanding weave structures and sequences and making designs in woven cloth. Which program are you using?

Just peg the tie-up. When weaving, remember that you do not want to repeat the same lift, and you need to count every pick. If the sequence starts 1-2-3-4-5 and then goes down 4-3-2 and then up, you start with 5 picks but the rest feels like 3 picks (4-3-2) and then 4 picks (3-4-5-6), 3 down (5-4-3) and 4 up (4-5-6-7). On the page, you can see that there are 5 in a row and then 4, but there are only 4 new numbers and then 3 new numbers. Also look at advancing up 6, down 5. When you are using all 16 shafts on your loom, then larger points can be interesting, too.

Note that it does not matter which pick (or which treadle) you start with. Just peg the tie-up and put the bars on the loom in a loop. Make the loop go forwards, then backwards. If you have weaving software, you can select the tie-up (or the treadling, but not both) and wrap it around to see what difference it might make if you started on a different treadle.

There are lots of tips for using bars and pegs in my book.

Bonnie Inouye

Posted on Wed, 12/09/2015 - 13:04

Thanks Bonnie. As soon as I get a warp on the loom, I'm going to try it. Without realizing, I guess I was basically saying peg the tie up. I'll need to come up with a good method of keeping track of my picks too but they also should be easy enough to count if I happen to lose track.

I appreciate your help with this.

Jo Anne

Posted on Fri, 11/04/2016 - 12:58

I have a pre-AVL loom and don't see any way that I can reverse directions. The loom only has one rachet to advance the dobby bars. Am I missing something very basic?

Posted on Sun, 11/06/2016 - 22:33

My dobby loom was built in 1987. I pull a cord to change the direction. There is a sort of Y shaped metal part and it can push the bars from one side of the top or the other side. Your loom should have come with basic instructions anyway... I think any dobby loom must have a way to use the chain going around clockwise or counter-clockwise. Otherwise, how would you back up to fix an error?


Posted on Wed, 11/16/2016 - 13:48

My loom is 1980-82. There is no pull cord and there is only one rachet on the wheel. But! As you note: Check the instruction manual. On this early loom, you can back it up--but it's all manual. You disengage the hooked metal arm and turn the wheel manually to reverse it.